Ahhh yes, summer. Beaches, warm sun, and terrible thigh-chafing. Though this is certainly not a problem unique to plus-size women, thigh chafing is a (literal) pain when doing a lot of walking in a warmer climate. The terrible “chub rub” can be battled with a few key tools:
Anti-chafe stick: I really like Body Glide For Her (Amazon link). This is especially great in hot weather, where it feels like your clothes and body are conspiring to cause painful, itchy chafing wherever they meet. Anti-chafing sticks are great for thighs, ankles, and that area where your underwire rubs against your torso.
Baby powder: This old-fashioned trick is pretty failsafe when it comes to preventing chafing. It’s great for when you’re at home or somewhere where you’ll be staying long-term, but is probably too cumbersome and messy for backpacking or short trips. The good part is that baby powder has many other purposes, such as helping to keep your body dry and acting as an alternative dry shampoo.
>> Another HPL reader recommends using deodorant for thigh rub.
Good bike shorts: When it’s hot out, you can’t always stand wearing leggings (which are my general go-to for thigh protection), which means bike shorts are essential when wearing skirts or dresses. Higher-end sports gear bike shorts are great: moisture-wiking, breezy, and easy to clean. The prices, however, tend to run pretty high. Some pretty good options are available from JunoActive.
My favorite bike shorts are actually very, very cheap. Danskin women’s bike shorts, available at Walmart, are just under $14 for a pack of two! They’re not fancy, but they help wick moisture and don’t ride up. They definitely get the job done.
>> Check out prices for Danskin bike shorts on Amazon.
After the Fact
If all else fails, and you do end up with some terrible chafing (what can I say, I’m not a wizard!) be sure to carry some hydrocortisone in your travel medical kit to help the chafing heal quickly. I have really sensitive skin, so I swear by the Aveeno Anti-Itch, which also has oatmeal in it, so it’s a little less harsh than your garden-variety hydrocortisone. Coconut oil can also help clear things up pretty fast, and you’ll smell great!
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